Networked Applications Including Haptic Feedback - Patent 8072422

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Networked Applications Including Haptic Feedback - Patent 8072422 Powered By Docstoc
Description: BACKGROUND This invention relates generally to human/computer interfaces, and more particularly to human/computer interfaces with force feedback that can operate over a network. Computer networks have become essential to allow users and computers to communicate with each other. Users transmit and receive data over networks in offices, at home, or in portable devices, and do so for a variety of tasks and applications,including communication, distribution, and entertainment. Many different types of networks are used. Local Area Networks (LANs) are typically provided in a limited area and include a relatively small number of computer nodes. The most large scaleexample of a network is the Internet, which has become extremely popular. The Internet is a Wide Area Network (WAN) that is structured and distributed such that no one authority or entity manages the network. Different communication protocols can beused over networks to allow computers to communicate with each other; for example, protocols such as "Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol" (TCP/IP) and the "World Wide Web" (WWW) are used over the Internet. TCP/IP sends "packets" of databetween a host machine, e.g. a server computer on the Internet, and a client machine, e.g. a user's personal computer connected to the Internet, or between two client machines. The WWW is an Internet interface protocol which is supported by the sameTCP/IP transmission protocol. Intranets are private networks based upon Internet standards, and have become quite common for managing information and communications within an organization. Intranets, since they adhere to Internet standards, can oftenuse the same interface software as are used on the Internet, such as a web browser. A variety of information is currently transferred over computer networks. For example, visual data, text data, and sound data can be transmitted over the Internet and the WWW. Image data can be sent from one client machine to another (or fro